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The Endearment

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,802 Ratings  ·  131 Reviews
From the streets of 19th-century Boston to the harsh frontier--she wove a web of deception to ensnare her man!

Lovely, fiery-tempered Anna Reardon was forced to lie to get out of the street urchin's life that shamed her ... to become Karl Lindstrom's mail-order bride in the beautiful, treacherous Minnesota wilderness.

Karl forgave Anna for her deceptions--but there was still
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1982)
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
If I was to list the Grande Old Dames of Historical Romance, I'd definitely have LaVyrle Spencer on my list. It's a shame that she has retired from writing, but at least she leaves a legacy behind in her excellent books she has written.

The Endearment is one of her books I managed to overlook for some reason. Initially, I thought it was one of the many that I read growing up, and forgot the details about. But I'm pretty sure I haven't read this before. I will admit that I made a note to reread (o
3 to 3 1/2 stars

At first this book didn't work for me but as I continued to ponder the story, I found it actually did. I spent much of this book with feelings of frustration and even anger at both the hero and heroine due to their choices and behaviors. I also felt there were times the connection between the two was lacking, and I never did become a full believer in their love story. In many ways, I feel the only reason they found their happily-ever-after is because romance books have to end ha

I was hesitant to read this one, based on some of the reviews I read but I am glad I did. This is my first read by this author, and I must say it was good.

The book starts out with me hating the heroine Anna. She is a mail order bride, who has lied about almost everything about herself in order to have the hero Karl pay her way to Minnesota to become his bride. He wanted an older woman, she's 17, a woman who can cook, she can't, a virgin, she isn't, and a woman who can read and write
Jane Stewart
Weak 3 stars. Downer. Too sad. I cried too much. I prefer more uplifting stories.

The best part was seeing what life was like in rural Minnesota in 1854 - living alone in the wilderness with Indians for neighbors. Karl immigrated from Sweden. He talked of foods growing in the wild. He talked about different types of trees and how each type of wood was good for different things. We see him building a cabin and caring for his workhorses. He is a good man, strong, competent, patient, giving. But whe
Aug 28, 2010 Gigi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Penny Watson
Oct 06, 2010 Penny Watson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Endearment by LaVyrle Spencer.

Oh mama, what a great read! I have a sneaking suspicion I am going to be working my way through all of Spencer's books soon. (I started with Morning Glory, which is another highly recommended winner).

The Endearment is a 19th century frontier historical romance. It's about a hunky Swede who places an ad for a mail-order bride from Boston. Of course, neither the hero nor the heroine gets what they're expecting....the Swede is a gorgeous, lonely giant of man who i
Feb 21, 2013 Euge_ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.
I’m convinced that LaVyrle Spencer can’t write a book that I don’t like.

"I, Karl, take thee, Anna ..." My little whiskey-haired Anna ...
"for my lawful wedded wife ..." How I have waited for you ...
"to have and to hold ..." Not yet have I even held you, Anna ...
"from this day forward ..." Forward to this night, and tomorrow and tomorrow ...
"For better, for worse ..." In spite of everything, I know I could do far worse ...
"for richer, for poorer ..." Ah, how rich we can be, Anna, rich wi
It's more of a 4.5 than a 4. I loved both the characters and was impressed at the journeys Spencer set them on. Lying, selfish, impulsive Anna Reardon grows one way while patient, hard-working, honest Karl Lindstrom grows yet another. Their paths mirrored each other as we got to see the many surprising layers of Karl and Anna.

It flirted with a five-star rating. It's a character-focused and character-driven story, which I just adore, but it still had its moments of too transparent plot machinatio
May 11, 2016 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“I have loved you when I did not know you existed, Anna. I have loved the dream of you. I have begun loving you before I left my mother's arms. I have loved you while I find this land to which I would bring you and while I cut its timbers to build this home for you and while I reap my grains for you and build my fire for you . . . I know all my life you are waiting somewhere for me.” The Endearment

How many times have you longed for more books with character-driven stories, books that weave exter
Jessica B
I had the urge to re-read this particular novel after I finished another historical about mail order brides. I forgot how much I absolutely loved this book!

Anna and her brother James come to Minnesota after they read Karl's ad in the newspaper. He has no idea that Anna is only seventeen and bringing along her kid brother. He is angry at first but soon decides all the company will be a good thing.

They settle in nicely and seem to be doing well until one of Anna's biggest secrets is revealed lea
Dec 28, 2010 Annika rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm almost not wanting to post a review of this and a public admission that I read this book, for fear of the recommendations I will get from this site. "O Hai you like romancey books? Here's a few!" Ugggh, no.

If I get some crazy recommendations/followers from this review, then I won't post another one.

After reading heavy things laden with "issues" (I hate that word) like "Outlander" or classics like "Pride and Prejudice" that just bogged me down with a language I almost couldn't grasp, I needed
Jun 05, 2012 Leona rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
I actually tried but couldn't finish this book...which is unbelievable since I love LaVyrle Spencer and have devoured almost every book she has every written. But for me, I struggled with two things

1) There was way too much time spent on details that weren't really necessary to the story. Consequently I felt there were places that just stalled and I lost interest.

2) I couldn't get past Ann's complacency with lying and that Karl just seemed to be a bit too condescending.

I will probably try again
I'm going to take the minority opinion here: I hated the hero. And I even have a certain affinity for lumberjacks. He was so self-righteous, stubborn, and judgmental.

The story was well written and I liked the heroine, the brother, the setting and pretty much everything but the hero ,Karl.
Katrina Passick Lumsden
This book would have garnered a higher rating from me had I been able to like the heroine, Anna, even a little bit. I couldn't. And that upset me because, honestly, I got where she was coming from with her desperation, but I just couldn't bring myself to like anything about her. And Karl deserved so much more than she was able to give...even at the end!

This isn't to say it's a bad book. It isn't. It's quite good. The characters are unbelievably well-written, the pacing is good, the plot is enga
The Endearment by LaVyrle Spencer is a historical romance set in Minnesota in 1854. This is a tale of pioneers living in the Minnesota wilds, a mail-order bride, her thirteen year-old brother and a Swedish immigrant -- an absolutely gorgeous tale. The details pertaining to pioneer life are just wonderful -- the description of the area, the loneliness, the heart and grit that it took to settle the land, all of it is there.

The characters are portrayed as people of their time. Karl Lindstrom is a t
Stella Astrasi
This is the third book I read by LaVyrle, the first one being The Gamble and the second one Years. This author is the one who initiated me to the Romance genre and, believe me, I've yet to find someone as good as her.

The Endearment features a virgin (gasp) hero named Karl, a Swede in the American frontier who is waiting for his mail order bride to arrive. What he doesn't know is said woman is actually a 17 year-old girl who comes with her 13 year-old brother and a bunch of other lies as a packag
LaVyrle Spencer, Pamela Morsi, Patricia Gaffney and Laura Kinsale are among my favourite authors: they write well-rounded, believable, very human characters and develop relationships and plots gradually and with wonderful detail, weaving an intelligent, well-paced, interesting tale. 'The Endearment' is the first of Spencer's books I've read and so far it is my favourite, followed by 'Morning Glory'. Brilliant!
Jenny E
Jul 19, 2011 Jenny E rated it liked it
Shelves: on-my-kindle
I really like slow-building romances, but this was a little boring in spots where it got too technical and descriptive in exactly what they had to do to live in the time period. I loved the characters though! It was an okay read. It would have gotten another star had there been an epilogue. I'm a sucker for a good epilogue! I wanted more from the characters at the end, even though everything was resolved.
Carolyn F.
I thought I would like this book from the blurb, but not really. The hero was way too judgmental and really knew how to hold on to a perceived slight like nobody's business. The heroine was just young and a little naive even with the life she came from. Bit of a struggle to finish to book. 2-1/2 stars.
Author, LaVyrle Spencer, embraces historical romance like a breath of fresh air. Refreshing as to the sense that her characters come alive on the pages of this novel with compassion and courage to embrace the unknown. Anna Reardon travels to the Minnesota frontier along with her brother, James, towards her future husband, Karl Lindstrom, as a mailorder bride. While corresponding with her intended, she has fabricated a few details about herself. Now scared of her soon-to-be-husband’s discovery of ...more
Jun 07, 2013 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
This book made me cry.

It was really so very sweet. I loved the historical detail too. Now I know how to build a log cabin, in case I ever need to. Okay maybe not, but if I had a great big handsome Swedish man like Karl I'm sure I could pitch in and help. :)

The book worried me because it began with lies. Anna, the daughter of a prostitute, became a mail order bride to create a better life for herself and her younger brother. The trouble was that she didn't write the letters -- she can't read or
Melody Black
I felt very conflicted with this novel. At the beginning I couldn't get into the story. It was a struggle to continue turning the pages. I didn't like that Karl would use his own name in a sentance when he spoke of himself. I thought that was weird and kind of annoying.
But I did try to read it only i skipped to maybe the middle of the book and i actually started to enjoy it. Although Kerstin annoyed me even though she meant nothing by how she behaved Karl, I still felt for Anna.
I liked how Karl
Anu CN
Nov 14, 2012 Anu CN rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i dunno how dey do it!
i simply dunno how sum ppl can take the bare minimums n weave the most beautiful stories out of them!
wat can i say abt Endearment,it ws endearing!
i cnt thnk of a better way to describe the book
isolated somewer in that damned 'middle of nowhere', Anna, Karl and 'the boy' build themselves a home, a family, and suck us ryt into it from the word go
there is no denying that
Karl isnt ur typical alpha male, but he builds a 'log house' in ur heart n there is no stopping him
he is
Nov 09, 2014 Karen rated it really liked it
A rocky mail ordered bride marriage. The bride lied but husband was prideful & slow to forgive.

An interesting insight of daily life & the pleterth of knowledge of what bounty was at the fingertips of homesteaders if they knew where to look or ask about. I liked the particular nature's of wood.

Eh. Good enough that I'm not going to be giving it away on Bookmooch. This is the second book where I feel like LS was forced to do a bunch of research and so crammed in every last piece of it, relavence to the plot be damned. I feel like I could practically go build my own log cabin now.
Another keeper by LaVyrle Spencer.

Anna and her younger brother have just been orphaned. Their mother was a prostitute. They never knew their fathers. Determined to escape their sordid life in Boston Anna places an add offering herself up as a mail order bride. She begins corresponding with a lonely Swedish immigrant in Minnesota, Karl Lindstrom. He seems eager to marry her - or rather the person she has led him to believe he's corresponding with. Realizing no frontiersman will jump at the chance
Aug 16, 2016 Natalya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great emotional ups and downs, touching poignant scenes, love the younger brother and his vital role as their relationship builder. It deals with something so fundamental as expectations of a partner based on watching parents while growing up, desperate acts caused by unendurable circumstances, and harshness of daily life at the frontier. This book is not perfect, I think cultural differences would have been harder to overcome, relationship with natives is surprisingly amicable, the forgiveness ...more
Sep 11, 2014 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Desperate to start a new life for herself and her brother, Anna Reardon responds to an ad for a mail-order bride. After months of exchanging letters where Anna twists the truth, she agrees to travel to Minnesota and marry Karl Lindstrom. Karl is a 25-year-old Swede who has been farming his own land for two years. He wants nothing more than a wife to share his farm with. What he gets is a 17-year-old girl who can't cook, can't read, and has a little brother in tow. Karl is not happy that he was l ...more
Jun 23, 2014 Honeypie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I learned of The Endearment from a book that I’ve read. (I’m pretty sure it’s a romance novel, I just can’t remember what novel.)

The Endearment is a historical romance. The setting of the story takes place when it takes about a month to get from Boston to Minnesota. I’m not from the States, but when I searched how long it takes to travel by land that same route, it’s around 22 hours or so. Less than a day. I’m thinking that that’s given there are no stopovers. (Correct me anytime, Americans.)

Jun 04, 2014 Lizzy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Jag alskar dig"
Que livro encantador! Poderia ser apenas mais uma história de casamento por correspondência narrada no Velho Oeste Americano, mas a autora mais uma vez conseguiu ir além. Sem perceber, me vi envolvida pela atmosfera colonial dos Estados Unidos, e pela ousadia e coragem de Karl, um sueco que firmou raízes em uma fazenda isolada, um lenhador, um jovem de vinte e cinco anos que casa com Anna. Ele esperava uma noiva completamente diferente, afinal Anna mentiu sobre basicamente tudo e
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Western and Medie...: January 2015: The Endearment, by LaVyrle Spencer 25 27 Jan 10, 2015 08:37AM  
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LaVyrle Spencer is an American best-selling author of contemporary and historical romance novels. She has successfully published a number of books, with several of them made into movies. Twelve of her books have been New York Times bestsellers, and Spencer was inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame in 1988.

Spencer is known for creating realistic characters and stories that focu
More about LaVyrle Spencer...

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“Life must not be squandered. A person got from life what he put ino it.” 368 likes
“Sometimes we must do things, plenty scared or not. To be able to say afterward,`I was plenty scared`makes a man a bigger man, not a smaller one.” 5 likes
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